New Castle County Vocational Technical School District is seeking $11,346,774.30 over the next two years to put towards one of the district’s four schools.
Certificates of necessity are funding requests by districts, usually for capital projects and deferred maintenance that districts lack the local funds to complete.
Sometimes, the certificate of necessity includes a smaller percentage of local share that must be voted by district residents through a referendum. Certificates include reasons why they need the money and must be approved by the state.
Expansion of Hodgson building
The first ask includes a state share of $2,620,258.51 in fiscal year 2025 and $1,179,116.33 in fiscal year 2026 and is for expanding Hodgson’s career and technical education program, which provides technical and on-hands training preparing students for a specific trade or career.
The money will go towards architect/engineering costs, audit fees, construction costs and construction contingency.
Essentially, the district is trying to expand the current building to accommodate the number of students.
“The current building lacks sufficient academic and support spaces necessary to support a 1,200 student high school,” the certificate states. “Major life safety and code deficiencies are present and the building is in such poor condition it is in need of a complete replacement.”
Although Hodgson houses 1,200 students, the calculated capacity for the building is 900 students.
The district’s student placement is based upon program-specific offerings at each of the four vo-tech schools, therefore enrollment is set based on capacity of each school.
With the limit on current seats available, increasing capacity will help to alleviate burdens of other district schools, the certificate states.
The funding will follow a 62%-state, 38%-local split, meaning the local share, paid for by the taxes of district residents, would be 2,328,649.09 over the next two years.
If the certificate is approved by the state, the expansion project is expected to be completed in either late 2026 or early 2027, and will grow the building’s capacity to 1,500 students.
Hodgson athletic fieldhouse
The second project the district is requesting funding is for $5,218,750.39, which will be 100% locally-funded.
It includes $3,599,138.20 in fiscal year 2025 and $1,619,612.19 in fiscal year 2026.
The financial need ties directly to the expansion of the school, which will necessitate a new location for Hodgson’s athletic fields.
The district wants to build a replacement fieldhouse, which will include new locker rooms and restrooms at the relocated ballfields.
Raised in Doylestown, Pennsylvania, Jarek earned a B.A. in journalism and a B.A. in political science from Temple University in 2021. After running CNN’s Michael Smerconish’s YouTube channel, Jarek became a reporter for the Bucks County Herald before joining Delaware LIVE News.
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